• “THE LEAST-DESIRED SKILLS THAT MANAGERS LOOK FOR ARE TECHNICAL – like accounting, programming, and applied microeconomics…. Rather, according to the latest Financial Times survey, it’s collaboration, the ability to work with a wide variety of people, work on a Team, and build/sustain/expand a network which are at the top… However, with modern communication methods, where workers are constantly in touch with each other via e-mail, messaging groups & mobile calls, this can adversely impact the collective intelligence of collaborating groups, which depend on social intelligence (how good people are at rating the emotional status of others); the extent to which members take part equally in conversation: and the proportion of women in a group… Lower levels in these factors create a danger of ‘groupthink’ when critics are reluctant to point out a plan’s defects for fear of being ostracized… or when people are aware of the views of others and develop a tendency to herd because they’re reluctant to look foolish by deviating from a majority view.” [THE ECONOMIST – Sep 8, 18]
  • “TRADITIONAL RETIREMENT IS A THING OF THE PAST… With today’s high-pressure office jobs taking an unprecedented toll on health, millennials are increasingly trying to leave the work world by age 40.” The trend is now toward FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early, in several variations: LEANFIRE advocates are about extreme frugality; FATFIRE involves working as-long-as-necessary to end up allowing a ‘higher standard of living’; BARISTAFIRE folks leave their desk jobs early but continue to work part-time at Starbucks for health insurance coverage. The mantra, in all cases, is to avoid “lifestyle creep – the temptation to spend more money as income rises,” with a base model something like accumulation of a stockpile to cover four years living expenses in cash (enabling travel or whatever ‘retirement’ then means) plus at least $1 million invested effectively to cover the rest of their lives. The devil is always in the details: (a) prioritizing savings over consumption or obtaining material possessions in the early years, and (b) realistically forecasting life expectancy & living costs. Good luck kids. [THE WEEK – Sep 21, 18]
  • SCAM CELLPHONE ‘ROBOCALLS’ NOW RUN AROUND 80,000 PER DAY, projected to reach 45% of total calls by early next year. So far unstoppable, despite ‘illegality’ when numbers have been listed on the federal ‘Do Not Call’ registry, the barrage continues to increase as scammers target people responsive to numbers which look like coming from their bank, cable company, IRS, or their immigration consulate/embassy. Scammers also use natural disasters to “prey on the generosity of Americans who want to help those affected by a natural disaster,” and further trick people with ‘neighborhood spoofing’ which manipulates caller ID into showing a local-matching area code. With calls originating from abroad in obscure locations, “technological rather than legal solutions” are the hopeful answer – but far from functional as yet. [WASHINGTON POST – Sep 19, 18]
  • DEMENTIA CAN HIT AS EARLY AS AGE 30s. Signs include: (1) Frequent falling; (2) Staring or skipping lines while reading; (3) Eating nonfood objects or food which is rancid or spoiled; (4) Losing knowledge of what objects are used for (but not necessarily just forgetting words or names); (5) Losing of sense for social norms, like inappropriate interpersonal behavior or disregard for laws & rules; (6) Not recognizing sarcasm or lying by others; (7) Inability to read social cues; saying insulting or inappropriate things; losing empathy. A five-minute worthwhile video: https://biggeekdad.com/2016/08/7-early-signs-dementia
  •  “21st CENTURY PROGRESSIVISM IS ALSO A RELIGION – a militant faith, a true church in nearly all important respects, a community of belief and shared values, with dogmas, heresies, sacraments and fanatics; with saints it revers and devils it abhors, starting with the great Satan Donald Trump. If religion were to disqualify a catholic from public service, it would logically have to disqualify a practicing progressive, who is the creature of a belief system that is, on the whole, considerably more dogmatic than the one with headquarters in Rome.” [WALL STREET JRNL – Sep 17, 18]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Where is civilization headed in the next few decades? An astonishing 11-minute video discussing the top ten impacts of where technological advances are taking us : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUeWvtZ7crw&feature=youtu.be    

         50% of the plastic bins which slide passenger belongings thru airport security scanning machines are “contaminated with cold & flu viruses that cause respiratory disease contacted from travelers’ hands,” according the latest study reported by Washington Post.